View Full Version : Next Project

06-21-2015, 09:49 AM
Showed up on a trailer unannounced today and resulted in the buyer of the Sunl-zuki getting a discount off his purchase price.

I swore I wasn't going to do another mod project, but my daughter will outgrow her buggy this season and this just happens to be the perfect size.

By VIN it appears to be a 2004, has a 125 cc engine with it that i'm pretty sure isn't original. Likely a Sunl or Kasea -- with so many brands coming out of a couple factories, it's pretty hard to figure out what these old things were originally sold as.

Frame tubing is in good shape and I like the design. A couple extra tubes here and there to triangulate it and some work fully weld it up won't take too much effort.


Check out that steering setup! It'll be getting a real rack and pinion ...

Damn things are like rabbits around here ....

LTZ front suspension, I've got some decent fox shocks, so powerplant will be the only major hurdle to deal with.


06-21-2015, 03:40 PM
Looks like a good size. That steering gear looks like a riding lawnmower set up.

07-13-2015, 01:17 PM
I've debated doing this same thing for my son.

07-24-2015, 01:53 AM
what is this thing?

07-24-2015, 04:53 PM
old chinese mini buggy. This winter's project.
The older they are, the better built the frames tend to be. Not pretty, but i'll do some cage work to make it a fully welded deal that will also clean up the lines and triangulate the important areas.

I haven't checked into the engine yet, it's either a 125 or 150 cc GY6 engine. It'll get a rack and pinion coupled to suzuki LTZ A-arms, rims and tires up front (i might steal the brakes for my own. likewise the rear will be kept as a solid axle swingarm type that the engine is mounted on.

10-25-2015, 10:15 PM
So it has a new home in the garage and I spent an hour or so this morning stripping it. That part went far more easily than I expected. Two seat bolts that were bashed/bent where they stuck through underneath needed hacksawed.

Seat is shot and needs replaced.

Engine--a 125cc needs a carb, I may bolt on a bbk kit and take it a little over 150cc.

Needs a battery

Going to graft my leftover Sunl-zuki project rear axle to the swingarm which is totally butchered and needing redone anyway.
Needs rear rims and tires.

Played around with the LTZ a-arms. Definitely getting a rack and set up as front steer. Whether i reverse the a-arms entirely as i have it at the moment, or swap the spindles side to side to get front steer remains to be seen. camber's way off since i'm using the equal length arm mounts from the buggy just to get some visuals. I'll probably have to chop the front lower tubing corners off and restructure the front a bit to get tie rod clearance. Lowers are going to have to tuck under the floor a bit, never liked that type of setup, but if i kick the uppers outwards its too wide.

Trying to get away with the least amount of mod work as possible on this one. [smilie=ext_crutch.:



09-30-2016, 03:22 PM
Got this one back on the front burner. going to call it the Mystery machine since i have yet to discover what it was.

Played with the LTZ front end a few times over the past couple months and have started in on grafting it to the front end.

Did a split and widen with the quad front end, cleanest install method i could come up with. Removed most of the front end tubing from the buggy frame and am getting ready to tack it all together.

Picked up a yerf steering rack for it, that will get sent out to have additional teeth cut in to eliminate the off-set rack position and improve the turning radius.

Otherwise front end is pure LTZ with my modded arctic cat/predator shocks/springs. Brakes, hubs, spindles etc all a done deal from the quad. Will have 22s up front and 23s at the rear.

Out back, i got a 150cc top end for the 125, they use the same base case, so that's just a matter of an engine rebuild.

Pics to come.

10-07-2016, 07:02 PM
front end is built, $s time so it'll sit a bit. meantime i've gotta set up an image hosting account or something direct posting is a pita.

10-09-2016, 11:52 PM
So, the good stuff. After battling through the convoluted picture upload process in the site, I finally signed up with yet another image hosting service. one reason i dont' like them is they seem to come and go every 2 years. So, this is going to be a run of pictures to get the thread up to date.

original mess, unknown manufacturer, 125cc VIN seems to indicate a 2004. mid kid size.


Stripped down, floor off, nose chopped for LTZ graft and I discover the top tubing is misaligned.
Really think it's a SUNL, the SUNL-zuki, though a different frame style, used similar bends and methods.
It was also crooked up front from misalignment, probably built by the same guys as the other one LOL


I split the LTZ front frame down the center, kept the same upper/lower A-arm mount angles and widened it to match the pivot ends of the steering rack I'll be using. at this point I'm fitting in lower front frame tube and welding it to the LTZ frame.


Middle tube fitting-- once i had the LTZ part squared in, I was able to file fit the upper LTZ frame tubing to mate to the middle cross tube. The buggy frame tubes all got slugged with tubing and drilled and plug welded after all the joints were trimmed.


10-10-2016, 12:14 AM
Continuing on ....

How's this for a pile of old project leftover bits to choose from? [smilie=biggrin.gif]


Everything welded up


A-Arms, still haven't decided on front or rear steer. have a bad ball joint in one lower, and i think the whole arm is a throw-away. no biggie. travel works out to be about 12 inches, and the shocks im going to run may look a little familiar ;)


10-14-2016, 01:41 PM
Nice work! I like the pile of left over parts from other projects.

10-15-2016, 07:58 PM
thanks Lug, there's a little from every build I've done going into this one. The existing bolt together roll cage will become nerf bars (they always seem to work well in that application) and provide some mid size tubing pieces. What's on the floor is all I have to work with at the moment. My buddy across the river at 1/2 scale dragsters will be bending up the fore and aft cage hoops once I finalize the layout.

10-27-2016, 03:40 PM
Used up a dozen or more bits from the pile o scrap and got all of the front end structure tied together. Original upper shock mount on the LTZ was too narrow, so i chopped off pieces from my old rear upper shock structure, bolted them together and ground them to a uniform profile. otherwise location is a bit higher than stock LTZ in order to pull the a-arms up about 1/2 inch out of full droop extension to avoid stressing the ball joint. The plate bracing the peak of the mounts is mower blade (always fun to cut hardened steel) and the rearward and cross supports are old yerfie pieces.


Took the original front to rear bars and made a single side to side hoop for the front


Lines look much better than the original "truck" profile. Anywhere tubing butts together is slugged and drilled/plug welded and also has gotten or will get another tube coming in at the junction.

Today's project will be to clean up the remainder of the original cage tubes, trim the curve off and add them in as the front-to rear bars. I have enough metal to triangulate the base of the front hoop. beyond that, i've got to get some more for my mid-size pieces. Since i used up the cage bars, nerf bars will be done the same as the Sunl-zuki, using angle stock which i have plenty of.


10-28-2016, 04:21 AM
got going on the cage profile today. ended the night off with a quick layout.

10-28-2016, 11:53 AM
Looking much better!

10-28-2016, 12:18 PM
yeah it was an ugly pug to start with, that's for sure.
Basic idea of the next tubing runs, dashed line is the cross tube for the steering column. doesn't show the top cage cross tubes that will go in. Don't really like long top spans like i have here and bent tubing, but it works and i'll have it braced. told the lil one she'll have to get used to climbing in. It will be getting body panels.

11-09-2016, 11:35 AM
Picked up 40' of 1-inch tubing from PA steel and got going on the cage work again. I was able to utilize the old cage parts to create the hoops, so no need to have anyone do any bending work for me. Got the top rail finished on one side. Still needs a few support tubes from the second to the top rail, then it will be time to put in the rear hoop supports and rear upper shock mounts. The latter will be very similar to what i did with the rockhound when I ran the Fox podiums at the back--which is also the shocks it will have.


I did myself no favors a couple years ago when I chopped the other Sunl swingarm assembly for rear end parts on the rockhound. I'm using the axle from that old buggy on this one since it's wider and is a very stout, nice piece. The swingarm likewise was quite sturdy and well constructed. However, unlike nearly all other 150cc buggies out there, the axle was designed with a more centrally mounted sprocket and has a wider bearing hanger spread. Using the narrower swingarm means new hangars, got them plated in and will be adding supports up top to strengthen the connection to the frame. Most of the upper tubing will have to be chopped off and moved to get the engine sprocket to align with the axle. Had I kept the old one intact, it would've been a bolt-on no work deal [smilie=drool.gif]


11-09-2016, 04:19 PM
Keep the posts coming!!!

11-09-2016, 08:30 PM
Did an "on all 4" mockup this morning. Overall liking how it's coming together. I had the sloping front hoop support tube at 90* to the hoop but felt it carried too far rearward and made for an awkward continuation below the lower rail. Appearance wise I liked that better than the more abrupt angle I put in, but so be it, nothing critical affected. top rail will have a short continuation most likely right in the same line into the curved support tube. Thankfully, the rear shock alignment lands in a position that allows me to add a rearward sloping support tube to the rear hoop of the roll cage to triangulate the corners. I hate hoops that look likely they can just fold backwards with nothing to counter it.

52" front track (outside to outside) 48" rear, overall length is 8-feet with a 6'-6" wheelbase


11-09-2016, 08:32 PM
Looks really good!

Based on what you said, I'm sure that you would want to redo mine! Lol

11-10-2016, 01:20 PM
That's looking really good.

The overall size is deceptive. It looks bigger than the dimensions you've posted, but I realize it'll sit on top of a 4x8 piece of plywood with just a little over hang.
Should be killer in the tight woods.

11-11-2016, 12:32 PM
Last couple shots were taken with my 24mm lens, tends to almost fisheye things. It is differently proportioned though, more of a 7/8ths mini buggy with 10/8ths size wheels. 23s/22s Front/rear.

the main chassis is a little on the narrow side, just enough room in there for an adult.

The springs on the front are actually for the rear shocks, they're a bit stiff and it's sitting at full drop. The old arctic cat 500 springs that i have leftover will be ideal for the front, I have to make shock body cups for them (or find and old set of those shocks for parts) since the cups went out the door with the blue Sunl-zuki. Stance when loaded at rest should be about 2 inches lower.

I found i can cut and bore out the old ball joints on the a-arms and thread them for honda ball joints, that'll be a quick fix that will give a little room for camber adjustment.

Out back still toying with the idea of a central large heim with two-links for the side to help the cornering. While it will be able to handle some rough stuff decently, my daughter is more of a flat tracker and the races they run are head to head barrel slalom loop runs, same with around the house, mostly flat running, so i do want to drop the ride height and do the most I can for getting it to corner with minimal roll

11-26-2016, 07:15 PM
Little bit more tubing work to go, haven't had a whole lot of time to devote to it lately. Mulling over one more support to the front hoop and have the tank frame done with rear support bar layout in visualization mode. rear shocks will have to be offset about 1/2 inch to the outside fo the box tube on the swingarm and mount under the corner tubing in the same manner i did the rockhound. Steering rack mount is made and ready to weld in.

Aside from the tubing, need to order up some heims for the tie rods, make clevises for the rack and steering arm and order up the steering column coupler. With those pieces in hand the front end will be on the finished list.

After those two sections, it's time to strip and rebuild the 150 and put in panel tabs and any minor mount tabs.

Also still have to get a seat and belts.





01-23-2017, 04:24 PM
Slow going but making progress.

Finished up the rear support structure awhile back. Plenty of beef for the rear shocks and support for the back half of the cage. fuel tank sits nicely in between.


Moved onto the swingarm, which is a fun little task of installing a much longer axle with different sprocket and bearing locations than the swingram was designed for. shock mounts are done and the swingarm frame has been stripped of any unnecessary metal. Other than some support work on the bearing hangars and welding the engine hangar tube in the correct location, this part of the job is done. Made new swingarm mounts while i was at it, originals were pretty flexy and roached out.


All the parts for the engine have arrived, trans in it has been inspected and new bearings installed and buttoned back up. Now down to putting it all back together so I can position the hangar mount followed by locating the "new" sprocket on the output shaft. (a 50 series 1 inch dia. with the hub chopped off and bored out to 27mm--that was a wheeee job)

After that it's seat, harnesses, wiring and front steering connection hardware time. then testing ...brakes ... well maybe might want those too )

01-23-2017, 07:07 PM
Looks good...just keep plugging away when you have time, right?!

02-09-2017, 01:27 PM
Engine is back together, with morphing from 125 to 150cc complete and the old wiring harness verified. While the carb still needs dialed in, (and i found a dead float needle plunger in it--brand new china junk) it passed the "light 'er up" test with flying colors.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjwS2j7c4v0 (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjwS2j7c4v0)

Of interest mostly for the 150 GY6 guys, here's the mods to the swingarm. rear tensioner/mount bracket has been flipped to the inside of the tube and supported with an additional tube. Given the noteriety for the tensioner to crack the top of the engine case off, I made an additional support for the output shaft for the outside of the sprocket end. It uses a piece of cut down tie rod tube and tie rod threaded ends welded to a bearing shell on the shaft and rubber isolater bushing that is actually an extra front engine mount bushing. once the chain tension is set and locked in, I adjust the tie rod to match, snug the lock nuts then put the top bolt thru the bushing. also tubed the rear frame corners--you can see the bend already in the tubing from its previous life. cross bar at the bottom also added to help prevent any further splaying out.





I had to ditch my plans to run 16-39T sprockets, the front engine mount and axle positions put the chain too close to the bottom of my engine case for my liking with the 39T. Went with 14/32 instead.

Spent the past two days making teeth in the steering rack and fabbing up the clevis ends for that. Moved on to the "conversion" hangars for the spindles last night and should finish those today. Hopefully my bearing supply store is open today, as i found some badly roached bearings in the LTZ hubs. had to use a pickle fork to remove the inboard hub bearings, so new bearings and seals are on the list.

02-23-2017, 12:56 PM
Steering bits ....
Rack clevises are 1 1/2" box with a plate welded on and bolt on. Small flat ground into rack end and a chunk of steel to lock into the flat to prevent them from turning.



Did the same "build a box" with the LTZ spindles as I did with the Quadrunner ones on the last build. Cut off the ball joint tapered stud, welded it into a hole in 1/4" plate then built the sides and back off of that matching the steering arm sides.


Ground the spindle flat and made the side and back of the adapter match to the flat to prevent it from turning. Bolt on heim adapter, spindle could still be used on a stock quad. Using 3/8ths rods that i got at bargain bin prices, with the extra travel I added to the rack with 10 more teeth, i'm running into bind at the steering arm heim before reaching full lock. I sized both clevis ends to allow for 1/2" heims with high misalignment spacers. If I need that extra travel I can make a set of 1/2" ones. if turning radius is ok at lock, I will likely use the 3/8ths and use some F-body urethane suspension bushings as bump stops between the clevis and rack body.


Seat is set and bolted in, out of the Rockhound via an '80s 944. needs a cover. Used 5-points are on the way.


Kicked around braking options. I do have the LTZ front calipers, rotors and a master that would let me dump them in quickly enough. However, the last thing i want is my daughter locking them up in the turns and plowing off her line into whatever. So I began looking at setting up rear brakes.

I got extremely lucky in that a yerf dual piston caliper and mount bracket bolted right onto the mounting brace that was on the swingarm. I got further lucky in that the yerf rotor matched the axle position in relation to said caliper. I then struck out with the axle, it came from a buggy that ran hub mounted rotors and had no provision on the axle for a rotor.


So I took the buggy's original rotor, which had a bolt pattern matching the yerf rotor and cut the bolt center out of it. I had a big old spacer a friend of mine machined for me years ago for a yerf project that never happened, I bored that out with a 1-1/8 all materials holesaw, then found that the bearing stop on the axle end prevented it from sliding on to the axle. I had to split it and have finished grinding it out to match the slight taper of the axle (could it land on a flat area? ...Noooooooo ...) The fun part is going to be welding one half of the spacer to the bolt center, moving that back to the axle, then slipping the other half in place, welding them together and welding it to the axle while keeping it all true. (today's project)


02-24-2017, 12:37 AM
Lots of good detail on your build. Keep at it and keep the pictures coming!!

02-24-2017, 01:52 AM
Thank you D, taking a lot less pics on this one, my motivation is flagging a bit. Got the rotor done, but it has a bit of runout. I didn't expect to get it spot on--hoped for it, but with no way at all to jig it in place it is better than a lot of my past efforts. after experimenting a little bit, i found that i can get away with shimming 1/3rd of the bolt circle with an old pontiac crank/flexplate shim and it runs as true as I'm going to get or need it to. seatbelts arrived, nice condition. i have to true and weld on the engine sprocket, after that it's basically tab time for brakes, panels, belts and electrical. Will also need a replacement rim and hub, new bearing is loose in the bore--for 1/2 the cost of the bearings i can get a used hub. bad original is missing the inside and outside bearing spacers.

03-03-2017, 12:30 PM
Closing in on the end, more bits n pieces.

LTZ rear brake master with rod shortened. After a full teardown and cleanup it gravity bled easily, brake hose was on the money for length and the stoppers work, probably the easiest brake setup I ever put in.


Throttle pedal/cable setup. Didn't have any cable the right length to do a direct to the pedal run, so I went with a rod-to-cable deal. Once again an old yerf 3203 part lives again, in this case the pull rod. cable housing is from an Ace mower replacement kit and the inner is from a bike with the clevis connection from this original buggy. In second picture you can also see where I ran into the seat bolts having issues with the nut hitting the frame tubes--so close but yet so far, couldn't even get the nuts started on the bolts. I had to add angle iron on the underside and use longer bolts to get around that problem. Both the gas and brake pedals need modified. the floor is a drop-down style, don't like that it's easy to get one's foot under the pedal and it's also an awkward foot position. might go with a center pivot style full length pedal.



One of my favorite views of a build. LOL Nerf bars in and done. Some parts of the original framework were so far off square that I can't tell that there always seems to be something drastically crooked looking in the structure. in this case it looks like my upper rear hoop is a bit off, but I'm also shooting it from a bit of an angle. To fit the seat, I also had to kick out the tube that went from the bottom to mid frame rail by a couple inches.


Had an oddball opening in the front of the cage I didn't like, so I got a little stylish and made a "z" lightning bolt tube to tie it together.


Tackling repairing the lower front a-arms by putting in tie rod ends and tubing from a golf cart; i have to make a tapered spacer cone to fit the spindle, to order in, drill and tap the Honda ones the Suzuki guys use to replace them is going to run me nearly $100, so a couple finicky spacers gets the job done for free.

Seat belts have been installed and the driver has gone through her fitting session. Floor and side panels, a couple little finishing bits and deal is done.

03-08-2017, 11:13 AM
Thrashed away at all the little bits and hardware on tuesday to get it to Fred Flintstone test ride stage. All went well, loose coil wire connector was causing a misfire, fixed that after the third clip in the video. Felt and heard it right away, misfire got worse til the wire popped out and it stalled on me. Front end feels nice and tight, rear springs are too stiff, but I expected that since i've installed that pair more than once before on the rockhound. Floor, panels and paint time.

Quick walk around and the usual few laps around the yard


03-08-2017, 12:59 PM
Looking good
Scoots along pretty good with the GY engine

03-21-2017, 01:50 PM
TY Taz, for a 12 year old, the 150 will be just fine. I'm going to have a hard time staying out of it myself since it's much more suited to ripping around the backyard than the rockhound. :rolleyes:

Now, for something different ....

Tore it down last week to put it into the home stretch, put in over 100 panel tabs, basically 18-gauge sheet welded in the corners and hole punched for 1/4-20 U-nuts. (Nice having an auto parts store Dorman bulk fasteners cabinet from the '80s sitting in the garage).


Want to really tick off the other half on laundry day?? [smilie=boogie.gif]


And wouldn't you know it, ended up 8 u-nuts shy of finishing the panels last night, checked every one of the 100 drawers for loose ones and no luck.


Washing machine shell actually makes for nice panels, galvanized on the inside, a little goo-gone clean-up on that side and sand out the other sides and they're be set for paint. I will be adding welting around them at some point.

Down to a couple minor bits n pieces, will be putting 1/8th aluminum like the firewall on the roof bars and inside the nerf bars to seal off the bottom of the panels that hang outside the lower frame tubes.

04-02-2017, 02:21 AM
Spent quite a bit of time getting down the home stretch with controls. Took two corners of the washing machine shell and made an enclosed switchbox. Had to make a tube stub for the ignition switch, i didn't want the box to be a deep lump hanging in the side view, nor did I want the switch backs exposed.

top is light switch, then key, kill and horn and an aux toggle if ever needed.

parking brake was a fun bit of cable routing, only cable i had was a HD throttle cable that came from the LTZ I think. not much length to it, but the handle set in well. Had to be basically vertical since i'm pulling from the front instead of the back as it's designed to do. it's attached to the brake pedal and pulls it to the front.


Switch box close up, mirror mounting bolt also holds the switch box at the top. another small tab at the bottom completes the mount. undo the screws and the front and inside half of the box come right off with all of the switches and wires attached to it.


04-07-2017, 09:12 PM
Color going on earlier this week, grabbed a shot between gun refills with the black. Hit the works with color shift clear to finish it off. Down to sanding out the panels for paint and painting the various bits and pieces, engine has to come out of the swingarm yet so i can shoot that as well. Lighting does not show it off well.


04-10-2017, 02:49 AM
Damn, that looks nice! I wish I had some nice paint for mine[smilie=ecstatic.gi:

04-20-2017, 04:09 AM
bottom black area is just rustoleum cut with mineral spirits and shot with my old sharpe siphon gun. put down about a can of metalcast blue anodized spray bomb in the mid section, followed by metalcast red over the black, blue and bare which create the deep burgundy fade to red. after that about a can of the effex clear spray bomb. all in about $35 in paint on the frame. the effex is 12 a can and the metalcase is 9. the panels not shown ate up another can of each of the three. this one doesn't really get off roaded, more of a flat track ride --with some races on essentially bumpy yard terrain.

04-20-2017, 12:03 PM
Paint looks great! I bet that metalcast is going to look awesome out in the sun!

04-20-2017, 01:46 PM
i used it on mine, it does have a good look to it when put on bare metal or a silver metallic. I did shoot some silver chrome on some of the weld joints that i couldn't get a wire brush in on to clean up the blueing. the effex clear with the flip flop particles in it should be pretty cool looking, i have yet to get it into natural light. seems to work better on the darker color areas. slowly putting all the pieces together, in that annoying "find the correct final length" mode for all of the bolts since i used the same ones in a lot of places as i was going along with the build. ) Also working on truing up the rear brake rotor mount on the axle. set up a marker as an indicator this morning. it's either going to be some finicky grinding or find a shop that can lathe mount it and take some off the face on the cheap. A buddy of mine could do it but had to move his shop this month.

05-06-2017, 09:29 PM
It's officially " IN THE BOOKS!" [smilie=rockout3.gi:

What a difference 5 years makes, eh?
Crummy lighting so I only banged off one shot, She rode for a good half hour, getting used to it. Rolled some go pro on it and also hopped in for a few laps to give her a few tips., might have something put together later on that.



05-06-2017, 09:37 PM

She looks soo happy. Lol!

05-06-2017, 11:26 PM
Damn, I remember that first pic!

Time is flyin!

Nice job dude, buggy looks great.

05-07-2017, 01:50 AM

She looks soo happy. Lol!

TY Bull. like i always say ...don't get old ... LOL
LOL, yeah, single child, has a tough time sometimes with me being at work or in the garage about 100 hrs a week, she was more happy to hear it was done until she heard me say that I had to start getting mine ready to race. But she was really psyched to for the first run in it. Rode it for half an hour, had to cut the ride short for dinner and i was getting too cold. just like with her first one, she'll ride til it runs out of gas. :cool:
little 1 minute vid of her getting used to it and me doing a lil slalom lesson for her. She has always been cautious, she spun it twice --off camera of course, then started doing that on purpose. (little off-camber at the barrel the go pro was on when you go roundy lefty) ---same spot i rolled mine.


05-07-2017, 07:34 PM
I have to laugh...our dryer just died so I tore it apart and may use some of the metal for panels!

Thanks for the idea lol!

05-08-2017, 06:14 PM
That turned out great!